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- LONDON : - - - -
A SIATI C J O U R N AL
To the Editor of the Asiatic Jou
SIR,--The refusal on the part of Lord Amherst to perform the Tartar ceremony of the Ko tou is the alleged cause of the rejection of the late embassy at the court of Pekin. It is certainly on many accounts to be regretted that the mission ended in so abrupt a manmer. I am, however, much.disposed to think, that unforeseen as the circumstances which led to its termination have been, yet good will nevertheless result from it. In the first place it is to be observed, that the embassy was not dismissed from China in an ungracious manner; presents from the respective sovereigns were interchanged; edicts were issued commanding the utmost respect to be paid to it through whatever towns it past; and finally, the imperial commissioners accepted an invitation to a public entertainment given by the ambassador at his departure from China, as a pledge and in honor of the good understanding which subsisted between the two monarchs. The ceremony of the Ko tou, though to a European and an Englishman absurd and degrading to a degree, would not have been made the sine qua non with
Asiatic Journ,--No. 25.
Lord Amherst, but for the pernicious influence which the performance of it might have had on our concerns at Canton ; on the other hand, the resolute and dignified rejection of it, in spite of arts, threats, bullyings and entreaties, has upheld the honor of the British name even among that arrogant people, and has done more to confound their lofty pretensions to universal pre-eminence than any thing that has occurred from the remotest periods of their boasted antiquity.
In Lord Amherst's instructions from the Secretary of State for foreign affairs, he was especially directed to conform to the ceremony of the Ko tou if expedient; but the precedent of Lord Macartney, who only kneeled on one knee and bowed the required number of times, added to the decided opinion of Sir George Staunton and all the other gentlemen of the Factory, of the pernicious effect such a marked submission would have on our commercial relations with the Chinese, induced his lordship very wisely to resist every attempt to enforce his compliance. It is true, that the Emperor positively asserted that Lord Macartney had fully
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